An Everyday Epiphany

Overflowing_Heart_by_thadius33

On a campaign, dreams and an old metaphysical adage

For all that I consider myself a wordsmith, sometimes words utterly fail me. Try as I might, no matter what thesaurus, volume of poetry, or aspirational novel I haul out of my collection or my memory, I just can’t find the words no matter what I do. Somehow, they all seem such clichés, such trite statements of trivial declaration that I simply have to give up the ghost and resign myself to the fact that mere words will never be able to contain the scope of whatever it is I’m trying to convey, and leave it at that.

When that happens, it means I’ve only forgotten that other important thing about writing: you don’t find the right words so much as they find you.

In the astonishing year of amazing events that 2013 has proved for me so far, this was brought home to me in no uncertain terms when I launched the campaign to keep this blog going, because no matter what I do, I somehow can’t escape that urge to ‘capture the muse as she flies’, as William Blake once put it, to capture with words what stories a perfume will breathe alive on my skin, in my mind, in the words I use to describe and evoke it.

The simple act of reviewing a perfume (I use that term advisedly) satisfies some literary inclination and writer’s itch in a manner no other writing quite does, and provides an outlet for all those aesthetic inclinations I can’t place anywhere else in my life. It is also without question the hardest writing I ever do.

But most important of all, it connects with other people, people who think as I do, feel as I do about that ephemeral art that is perfume, an art that far transcends ‘smells good’, ‘wafts sexy’ or ‘stinks’. Let those sorry souls who deem themselves beyond such trifles and vanities sneer in derision and think what they will about us and our consuming passion – we know a kind of transport and sensory experience unlike any other, and explore it, exchange it, explain it and share it.

Once upon a storied time in a Skype conversation, I told a justly celebrated rock star of the perfume world and an eminently acclaimed writer herself:

All good things in my life have come through writing about the art of perfume.

The events of this past week have proved beyond any doubts I ever had just how true and prescient that statement is.

Because dear readers, this alembicated genie, this small, singular, idiosyncratic voice among the multitudes of Planet Perfume, shall happily continue along that primrose path to perdition!

I reached my goal before the campaign deadline.

The Genie was saved, and all because of – and most emphatically! – thanks to you.

This early Saturday August morning of a perfect blue sky, the sun shines down upon yours truly, typing away on a gently used and souped-up MacBook Pro that does everything I could possibly ask it to do, contains everything I need to do it with, and will take the writer and passionate purple perfume prose aficionado to the next level of setting the world alight with my words.

You – my readers, my friends, my colleagues in fragrant phrasing – made that happen.

Those two small throwaway words ‘thank’ and ‘you’ seem much, much too concise and limited for what I’m trying to say here.

If I ever doubted (as a writer, I always, always do) my significance as a perfume writer, if I ever wondered about that unbearable lightness of my existence, if I ever, ever catch myself considering to just give up the ghost and to Hades with it all, all ambition, all aspirations and hopes be damned, I’ll look to that one event to remind me that readers out there, readers just like me, readers who love what I love and share that love and those connections, have made everything not just possible or even probable but happening, right this very minute…

I turn to another perpetual favorite writer of mine who shared a few preoccupations and wrenched these words right out of my mind and my purpose.

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.  – John Milton

As indeed all of you did, and so, my world and my experience was changed… forever.

Thank YOU.

And that metaphysical adage?

Be careful what you wish for. You will get it! 

😉

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Image: ‘Overflowing Heart’ by Thadius33 on DeviantArt.

The Mutual Appreciation Society

marilynairkiss

 – without you, I’m nothing!

When I began my descent into the fragrant maelstrom that is perfume blogging almost three years ago, I likely had a good general knowledge of my subject matter – perfume – but not one clue as to what my love of that ephemeral art might come to signify. My main concern was really my only reason to begin – to become a better writer, on the premise that if you can write about perfume, you can write about anything.

But that airhead decision, born one summer night after the third glass of wine and pleasantly fuzzy White Zinfandel-tinted thoughts, would have consequences far above and way beyond anything I could possibly have imagined in even my wildest dreams.

In the perfumes I have come to love and adore – some of them many light years removed from my previous fragrant inclinations. In the knowledge I’ve acquired – about their making, their marketing, the machinations and mayhem of Planet Perfume. In the future I’ve come to envision (and create) for myself. In the writing I’ve done since then – if all my sometimes verbose reviews were put together end to end, you would have about five paperback novels worth of material.

But above all other considerations in the people I’ve come to know.

Some of my dearest, most precious friends have come through perfume and remained for reasons which have nothing to do with the juice and everything to do with common ground elsewhere. Phone conversations, Skype conversations, emails and PMs and DMs and onward – all of these fellow perfumoholics have somehow come into my life as invaluable additions to an otherwise fairly solitary existence and to such a degree I really don’t know how I could live without them.

Without the astonishing generosity of the international perfume community, the many connections I’ve made and the friendships I’ve forged in the process, this blog  – and indeed this writer! – would never, ever have been possible.

So when my laptop Cassius Dio exhibited signs of encroaching Elzheimer’s, I did what any social media-savvy, destitute writer would do. I created an Indiegogo campaign to see if I could raise the funds to acquire another and later model, one that might conjure even greater chances and opportunities and possibilities for a future once so far-fetched I didn’t even dare to dream about it.

As of today, the campaign runs for another twenty-six days. As of today, I’m over halfway to my goal. I arranged to have the campaign run as fixed funding, meaning if I don’t reach my goal and you have contributed, your pledge will be returned to you, since that seemed only fair. I’m emphatically not out to fleece people or to abuse such declarations of faith and trust. In the event I don’t, I’m enough of an optimist to believe that miracles can happen, and usually when we least expect them.

To say I am grateful, floored, flattered and completely humbled by that response is the Understatement of the Century.

Really, those two small yet all-important words ‘thank’ and ‘you’ aren’t nearly epic enough for my tastes.

I’m not about to embarrass anyone by pointing out to my contributors. You know who you are. You are my friends, my comrades in sillage, my daily inspirations, aspirations and confidantes. You enrich and elevate my earthly existence daily.

You more than anyone at all have made everything worthwhile in my life not just possible, but probable.

I really am about to set the world on fire, which is all I can say for now, but trust me – it’s all good!

But without you, without your input, your comments, your encouragement and your faith in one lowly, destitute perfume writer in her garret, it would have never happened at all.

If all goes well, I’ll do my utmost to live up to that declaration of faith – to challenge myself as a writer and a perfumista, to up the ante in terms of perfume writing, to do everything I humanly can to contribute any way I can to…

The Mutual Appreciation Society. I’ll blow you a fragrant kiss and last, but never, ever, ever least…

Thank YOU.  

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More on the Save The Genie campaign here.

A Few Words From The Genie

Ladies, gentlemen and fellow Earthlings,

It’s now been a week since the Save The Genie campaign started, and no one is more surprised than I to find that I’m nearly halfway to my goal already!

🙂

So instead of foaming at the keybpard as I usually do, I decided to do something else instead which says everything I feel and (nearly) everything I wanted to say. Not rehearsed, not scripted, and yes, this is…yours truly, live and in color!

Save The Genie Campaign Update

No worries! I promise…there are many, many words to come!

 

Evaporation Blues!

Hand and Water

 

Ladies, gentlemen and readers of The Alembicated Genie…

I regret to say this, but say this I must:

I foresee an encroaching future when The Genie will no longer be able to…alembicate!

Not because I want it that way, not because I’m about to retire in the face of (stiff! 😉 ) competition, but something altogether more harrowing.

On the verge of Kicking Max A** (to quote one favorite inspiration), which is all I’m able to say at this time, when I’m poised to have one helluva third anniversary giveaway on TAG, when, in short, all manner of awesome is Just About To Happen, the one instrument that has made everything possible is about to… kick the bucket.

My geriatric PowerBook, my faithful companion for the past five years, is developing Elzheimer’s, and showing signs that it needs retirement, sooner if not later. In those five years (and it wasn’t new when I bought it, either), it has survived Sonic the Hedgehog, drops to the floor, and a losing contest with Hairy Krishna and a glass of water. I’ve written two full novels, three more books in progress and over five hundred blog posts, not counting about 12.000+ emails, PMs, tweets and FB status updates.

One of the crowning ironies of my existence as a perfume writer is that I can’t afford to buy anything I review. At all. And at this point in time, I can’t afford to replace Cassius Dio, either.

Yet I have faith and I have options, and I even still have hopes, too!

To that end, I’ve created an Indiegogo campaign where readers, fans and other altruistic souls can contribute a little or a lot to the cause of Saving The Genie.

You can find out much more on the campaign, including how to contribute, here.

Even if you can’t or won’t want to support my rise to fame and fortune (I wish I were kidding!), you can – completely risk-free! – tell those fellow fumehead friends you know about it. Or the world! Or anyone who might appreciate a new perspective on an ancient art.

My words might otherwise evaporate like so much poorly stored perfume.

Because without YOU, dear readers, I could never have made it so far. Who knows where we might end up, if we could continue our explorations though the jungles of Planet Perfume, or what creatures and chimaeras we could find?